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 Post subject: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
Posts: 464
Location: South Bucks
My Y5 daughter would like to start playing saxaphone having some experience at Clarinet (Grade 1)

Any recommendations as to which to buy on a budget. It seems that while some cheap ones are rubbish, others are actually quite good. I was thinking of an Altone Solar which is cheaper new than second hand traditional student models.

Anyone have any experience that could help?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm
Posts: 1446
I really wouldn't purchase anything until your daughter has trialled it for at least a term. It is totally different to the clarinet in fingerings. Also it is a heavy instrument in comparison and can cause strain around the neck so she may discover pretty quickly that she does not like it. Both my boys tried the sax for a couple of terms and both hated it - mainly because if the strain and the weight.

Another thing to consider is the noise. It is one of the loudest instruments and seems to penetrate through all walls and if you live in a semi or terrace then be prepared for lots of complaints!

If she is playing purely for pleasure then by all means go for it but if it is for any form of musical development then the instrument is limiting as it tends to only be played in Jazz bands and it is not an approved scholarship instrument as they would be looking for an orchestral instrument.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Posts: 379
Location: groombridge, e.sussex
No experience on this and I guess someone will have some more helpful tips but you could ask the teacher. They should be able to help with potential purchase but may know someone with a good one to sell or borrow. Lots of music shops hire them out and this would seem the most sensible option at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
Posts: 464
Location: South Bucks
Thanks for the helpful advice :D

while I am told she is quite talented, I don't think she will pursue music academically so this really is for pleasure. It is what she always wanted to do but was too young before now (and is why she learned clarinet in the interim). That said, I am not sure if she has ever tried one! She is very fit and strong and I do think it will suit her personality too.

My thought was to buy one of the cheaper models (some of which I hear are very good) as this will prove much cheaper than the second-hand and hire/buy instruments I have come across.

Hmmmm...certainly food for thought, thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 505
Location: Warwickshire
I'd seriously think about getting a secondhand instrument because you'll get a much nicer sound for the same money - especially at the lower price end of the market. It will also hold its value much better since a reasonably decent secondhand instrument will still be reasonably decent if you decide to sell it in a few years, whereas a cheap new instrument will be less attractive secondhand.

We love the following company for secondhand instruments. It's run by real enthusiasts who give good advice and they have a selection at different prices: http://www.connolly-mir.co.uk/, though it might be a bit far from you!


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:00 am
Posts: 99
If you are going down the route of buying the instrument, check out for those shops that sell second hand instruments and are prepared to buy back. It is quite common for youngsters to be desperate to play a particular instrument only for them to be bored and wanting to give it up!

Be warned the embouchure for the sax is different to that of the clarinet and many teachers often advise clari players to get to g5 before moving across to the sax. Switching over fingering for the sax is not particularly difficult either. A previous poster has commented that some players find the neck halter painful, however, if your daughter is particularly petite, you can opt for a body strap which helps distribute the weight more easily for some players.

My own son got to G5 clarinet and then played the sax as well, achieving G4 sax after a matter of months - it is a very logical progression.

If your daughter has no desire to play in orchestras then playing the sax will be fine - if, however, she enjoys classical music and wants to go down the orchestra route, the clarinet would be better - she would be limited to big band and jazz style bands with the sax.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm
Posts: 1446
Do not make the simple mistake of buying a cheap new instrument. I made that mistake once and it was a disaster. Not only was the sound not good but it didn't work very well. A top quality second hand one is always better.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:14 am
Posts: 938
We looked around and found a local band that offered free tuition in brass instruments and even provided an instrument for free! It was great as it meant DS could try out the instrument and see if he liked it as well and had he not done so could have swapped to a different one.
I wonder if there is anything similar for saxaphonists in your area? Might be worth investigating through the schools' music service etc?


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:10 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Trafford
My DS has just started learning the saxaphone and we have hired one through his school for £50 for a year - the scheme is run by the council (Trafford). There may be something similar in your area. He got it today and gave us a demonstration - Waiting_for_Godot is right about the noise level. We are in a semi but the neighbours are very nice and their son played drums so they can't complain too much!


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 Post subject: Re: Saxaphone advice
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Posts: 279
Location: Hertfordshire
DS has just started Y8, he's doesn't play any instruments and is very keen to learn the Sax, but I think it could be the Simpsons Effect :lol: . Yet I should encourage him to learn an instrument as he got 95% in the Y7 end of year Music exam. but not sure which would suit he best. I'm worried he'll have problems with the fingering on a wind instrument as 2 years ago he badly broken his left hand (just before the entrance exams), the hospital said it would cause problems if he played an instrument.


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